The three-month period that the Polish government had to agree the National Reconstruction Plan with the European Commission passed yesterday – August 1. Exceeding it without agreement – without a green light – does not mean that the money is lost, but the deadline for final negotiations has to be extended – explained Tomasz Bielecki, correspondent of “Deutsche Welle” and “Gazeta Wyborcza” in Brussels on TVN24.
Polish The KPO was due to be approved by August 1 through Brussels. – Together with the Polish authorities, we are working constructively to complete the assessment of the National Reconstruction Plan – said last week the spokeswoman for the European Commission for economic affairs Veerle Nuyts.
The deadline for agreeing the Polish KPO has passed – what does it mean?
– The European Commission has not yet proposed a formal extension – by a month or two. Taking into account the fact that August is a holiday month in which the EU institutions work slower, especially slower or hardly ever working at all, the Council of the European Union, i.e. the institution representing the ministers of 27 EU countries, who finally have to approve this plan after the green light from the European Commission, this slide becomes longer also for this reason – said Bielecki.
He added that, despite Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s initial hopes, that the first money – a 13% advance from the National Reconstruction Plan – will be paid in August, that “it is postponed to October, and maybe later – to November or December, if we take into account there is still time for an assessment by the Council of the EU and subsequent formalities, such as the formal signing of agreements “.
– It is hard to imagine that this money would not be approved, but it is a political, prestigious blow against the Polish government, which announced a few weeks ago that the plan was negotiated. Anyway, it was so – you could say that in mid-July this plan was negotiated – said the correspondent.
National Reconstruction Plan – issues of EU law and the rule of law
– This political brake, as it seems quite clearly, was pressed after the story with the Constitutional Tribunal of Julia Przyłębska, with the ruling striking the supremacy of EU law. Then it was decided to postpone the planned visit of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The head of the European Commission announces the approval of the National Reconstruction Plans in the capital city of each country. It was in 18 capitals and it was difficult to imagine that in the midst of the struggle for the primacy of EU law, von der Leyen would fly to Warsaw with a smile, said Bielecki.
In his opinion, for “such political reasons, this brake has been put on.” – Now Brussels is waiting for the result of its ultimatum with the deadline of 16 August, by which Poland should decide whether it intends to listen to the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The pace of finalizing the National Reconstruction Plan will depend on this, he noted.
He also added: – Questions whether there should be some new anti-corruption safeguards in it – an independent judiciary is one of the key elements of the anti-corruption system. The National Reconstruction Plan for each of the 27 countries includes a chapter on controlling money monitoring.
Bielecki also explained that 18 countries have already been approved by the EC, and 16 also by the EU Council – they are at the stage of signing agreements with EU institutions, thanks to which it is possible for them to receive advance payments in August.
European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova and EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders presented on 20 July rule of law report in the administration of justice and media freedom and pluralism.
As reported by the Reuters Agency, the European Commission has highlighted serious concerns about the rule of law that can influence decisions about multi-billion dollar bailouts from the European Reconstruction Fund.
As Reuters explained, the deputy head of the European Commission said that she was unable to predict when the money from the Reconstruction Fund for Poland would be approved. She emphasized that Warsaw must first convince the Commission that it has a reliable system for controlling and auditing the spending of EU funds.
Reconstruction Fund for pandemic crisis
The Reconstruction Fund is a means of reviving the EU economy after the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time responding to the greatest challenges of our time: climate and digital transformation. To receive support, Member States must present their recovery plans to the European Commission.
After receiving the plan, the Commission has two months to evaluate it (unless it has agreed to postpone the deadline with the Member State) and to propose to the Council an implementing decision approving the plan. The Council then has four weeks to examine the draft decision. Once the Council adopts the decision, Member States can start signing bilateral financing agreements with the Commission and receive the agreed advances within two months.
From the Reconstruction Fund, Poland is to have around EUR 58 billion at its disposal. This amount consists of EUR 23.9 billion in grants and EUR 34.2 billion in loans.
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